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Divorce, Blending, and Co-Parenting

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Welcome to the Marriage and Martinis’ Friday Five!

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5) Divorce, Blending, and Co-Parenting

Our name might be “Marriage and Martinis,” but our hope is to discuss all aspects of relationships, families, and stories on our podcast. One of the most common topic requests we get is how to blend a family as painlessly as possible. This coming Monday, the awesome Naja Hall, a Master Stepfamily Coach, author, speaker, educator, and podcaster is discussing all of this with us. In just 3 years, her brand leads the millennial blended family niche and her Family & Coaching agency provides resources to over 200K adults on a daily basis. Even if you are not going through a divorce and never have, she gives so much incredible insight, including how to support someone else who might be going through these tough and oftentimes traumatic events. Adam and I both learned so much in this hour of talking, and I think our listeners will, too.

4) A Marriage Story

If you haven’t watched this Netflix movie yet, I recommend you do so before listening to Monday’s episode. After watching, I couldn’t wait to ask Naja if the disturbing portrayal of the Divorce system in this country is really as broken and problematic as it’s demonstrated in the film. While I found the movie to be slow at times, I really appreciated the way it brought to light how two seemingly amicable people entering into a separation can quickly turn against one another, all due to the detrimental laws and court practices currently in place. It’s also a great movie to watch amid award season, as it’s up for so many, including best picture at the Oscars.

3) More Resources For Blending Families and Co-Parenting

We did an awesome episode back in August with my friend Rachel (episode #77 Life After Divorce), in which she talks so openly about her experience dating and remarrying, while co-parenting her daughter with her former spouse. She discusses why she hates the term “half-sibling,” and all the successful (and some unsuccessful) ways she went about “starting over” after heartbreak. 

Naja’s Facebook Communities 

Naja is working tirelessly to help people blend families in the smoothest and most organic way possible. You can join one (or both) of her communities, VIP Stepmom and Blended and Black (no, you don’t have to be black to join) to receive support from other families going through similar transitions.

2) Favorite Memes From The Week….

Via the awesome:

1) Date Night Questions: (From this upcoming Monday’s episode with Naja Hall). Note: If this week’s questions affect you on a more personal level, you may want to have this conversation in a private setting, as opposed to during a public outing like at a restaurant or friendly gathering. However, it just may be a conversation worth having, at the right time, if it is one which you have not before discussed.

  • In what ways have you experienced separation and/or divorce in your life? In what ways big and small has your life been altered by a couple and/or family splitting up?

  • What preconceived notions do you have about stepparents? From where do you think these notions originated for you? Do you think it is possible as a society for us to redefine the way we view these terms?

  • Do you know of any couples and/or families who are breaking the stereotypes of divorce and step families? If so, who are they and what do you think they are doing differently? What can be learned from their experience?

Conscious uncoupling refers to the act of ending a marriage or relationship, but in a way that is viewed as a very positive step by both parties, who believe that their lives will be better for doing so, and that they can continue to remain friends, co-parent if they have children, and possibly not even fall out of love with each other.

  • What are your thoughts on the term “conscious uncoupling?” Do you think this is actually possible or just a Hollywood term coined by someone with fame and money who has an unrealistic standpoint of the situation? 

BONUS QUESTIONS for “A Marriage Story” on Netflix (which I highly recommend all couples watch and discuss). SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ THE QUESTIONS UNTIL YOU HAVE WATCHED THE MOVIE!

  • Do you think Charlie and Nicole's marriage could have been saved? Why or why not?

  • Did you think that Nicole had the right to move to LA with Henry? Why or why not?

  • What steps do you think they took that were healthy and amicable amid the divorce? 

  • What steps do you think were toxic? Could have been avoided? If so, how? What would you have done differently?

  • Laura Dern’s character (Nicole’s Lawyer), discusses how much higher the expectations for a mom and woman are when it comes to parenting, how much more dads can get away with, and how easily men are praised for being participants in their kids’ lives. What are your thoughts about this monologue she gives? You can watch it here:

For more prompts and questions for open and honest communication, plus bonding challenges and strategies for discussion, get our Date Night Questions Experience ebook.

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